Hilary Barry was so desperate to leave TV3 she'd been planning to quit for months - and she's revealed she left without another job to go to.

In a tell-all interview, published in the latest edition of Next magazine, Barry says she had to leave TV3 because "I couldn't take it anymore".

Barry quit her dual roles at TV3 - newsreader on Paul Henry and presenter on Newshub at 6pm - in July before taking up a new role at rival network TVNZ in September hosting Breakfast alongside Jack Tame.

The new TVNZ Breakfast Lineup: Brodie Kane, Jack Tame, Hilary Barry, Sam Wallace and Daniel Faitaua.
The new TVNZ Breakfast Lineup: Brodie Kane, Jack Tame, Hilary Barry, Sam Wallace and Daniel Faitaua.

Her exit after 23 years at TV3 came after a wave of shock departures, including John Campbell and most of his

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team, a host of senior journalists and producers, and news chief Mark Jennings.

Barry has mostly remained silent about the reasons behind her departure, but the 46-year-old reveals to Next she had been planning to leave since Christmas, 2015.

"It'd be fair to say I got to a stage where I felt sad about my work life, and I didn't think it was good for my mental and physical health to stay there. I thought it was time for me to walk out the door, on my own terms," Barry tells Next.

"I haven't regretted that decision for a moment. That might surprise some people, because they look from the outside and go, 'Oh, but that was such a dream job.' And it was, for a long time. But it wasn't in the last year."

Barry has since taken up another high-profile news role fronting Breakfast alongside Tame, amidst a widespread shake-up on the show that saw Nadine Chalmers-Ross and Rawdon Christie leave the show - and the network.

Read more: Nadine Chalmers-Ross hits out at TVNZ over 'awful' Breakfast axing

It was widely believed Barry had already signed a deal with TVNZ before her TV3 exit.

But she tells Next that wasn't the case.

She admits the constant departures shook her, but leaving still took "a bit of nerve".

"I just felt like I was in this constant grieving process: It was John Campbell and the entire Campbell Live team, it was then the entire 3rd Degree team and all those senior journalists. And then my mentor and the man who first hired me, Mark Jennings.

"You just get to a stage ... I couldn't take it anymore. I actually couldn't take it. It was time for me to go, to preserve my own sanity."

Barry doesn't say anything about her former workmate Henry in the story, but she recently took a dig at him after his widely criticised interview with Canvas in which he commented on a woman's "perfect titties" while dining with a Herald reporter.

During a live Breakfast broadcast, Barry said: ""Can I say how lovely it is for me to work with three such kind, caring men, so respectful of women ... Just spare a thought for other women who are turning up on other breakfast shows this morning who don't get to work with guys like you. Enough said."

Read more: Hilary Barry just revealed her true feelings about Paul Henry

Paul Henry is the latest high profile presenter to leave his position at TV3. He will cease fronting his morning news show at the end of the year, but will still appear on a new 7pm show called The Project, to replace Story.

Read more: Paul Henry reveals the 'nightmare' reason he's leaving morning TV

Duncan Garner will take over Henry's morning host duties.